The Untouchables really should have been a great movie. You have pre-Waterworld Kevin Costner and Robert DeNiro, who is still in his a prime (a prime that basically extends from the early 70s to the mid 90s). Unfortunately, most likely due to the facts of history, Kevin Costner beating Robert DeNiro at the end of the movie kind of ruins it, especially when you factor in things like Sean Connery's way of talking. I don't know about you, but if I ever lived in a land where Kevin Costner arrested me for drinking alcohol, there would be hell to pay, and maybe that's the ultimate metaphor for how bad the Prohibition era must have been. It was so bad, it'd be like having to listen to Kevin Costner telling you what you can and cannot do and then after the arrest saying, "Nothing's free in Waterworld!"
The unlikelihood of Costner ever beating DeNiro in anything that involves acting leads me to a list, and that is, based on acting ability, the Top 5 Worst Movie Endings Because the Worse Actor Won:
5. Richard Gere beating Bruce Willis.
I can't remember the name of the movie, but I believe it came out in the early 90s and Richard Gere wins at the end. Sure he's good and Bruce Willis is bad and 9 times out of 10 the good guy has to win in the end, but still, aside from women suffering from menopause, who wants to see Richard Gere beat Bruce Willis at anything?
4. Alpa Chino beating Robert DeNiro
This isn't as bad as Costner beating him because Pacino outranks Costner on the Best Actors scale despite agreeing to do a movie with Keanu Reaves, but Heat would have been so much better if DeNiro killed Pacino at the end and got away with the money. The director probably should have used Val Kilmer as his sacrificial lamb to exemplify that committing crimes is wrong, but maybe he didn't because he feared Kilmer would never recover and end up on futuristic TV shows where celebrities go to rehab to treat their addictions like Kilmer's co-star Tom Sizemore. It all would have been worth it if DeNiro got the innocent girl, the money and killed Al Pacino. Heat may have been one of the 50 best movies ever had that happened.
3. Kevin Costner (with help from Sean Connery) beating Robert DeNiro
Let's take this out of the context of the story of Elliott Ness versus Alca Pone (wow, the Tropic Thunder joke works for anyone named Al … oh man, now I have to try this on everyone I know named Al. Well, it doesn't work for Al Yankovic so I'll just stop there). Anyhoo, just imagine Costner and Connery getting together on a Thursday evening to compare acting tips so they can act as good as DeNiro used too. Instead of me recreating that conversation, just think of how it would breakdown on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy.
The more I think about this topic, the more I can come up with but I already had a good five even before I started the list. You can have AIDS beating Tom Hanks, but AIDS isn't really a bad actor, just a bad disease. You can have Martin Sheen beating Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, but Brando let him kill him, so that doesn't really qualify either.
2. Tom Cruise Getting Over on Jack Nicholson
A Few Good Men may be a pretty weak movie with a very memorable ending, but when you think about it, there's no way in hell Jack Nicholson would ever lose to Tom Cruise at anything except for maybe the Denying Your Gay Olympics. Jack in a million years wouldn't have to deny gay allegations, and maybe that's difference … not that there's anything wrong with it. If Jack never admits to ordering the Code Red, Tom Cruise loses, gets court-martialed and every body wins, well, except for the mopes that make up the protagonists in the picture. How awesome would it be to see Cruise lose at the end and to see Nicholson wipe that smirk off his face?
1. Leonardo DiCaprio Icing Daniel Day Lewis
Gangs of New York had an opportunity to be one of the best movies ever. The two things that prevent it from being that are Cameron Diaz, and the way the movie ends. There's no way in hell, wait … wait … there's one way in hell. The only way DiCaprio gets the better of Daniel Day Lewis is if that the backdrop of their scuffle is the freakin' calvary coming to town and blowing everything up around them in the middle of a riot. That may be a little distracting for a man with one eye, so I can almost see how Leonardo won this one.